Asking For a Second Chance


Unlike individuals, insurance companies that committed awful wrongdoings cannot go to jail. They will receive fines and ultimately striped off from operating their business. In Missouri and Illinois, one company has to undergo such scrutiny because the Department of Insurance has received numerous complaints against them. This is the story of the Universal Casualty.

People are complaining about Universal Casualty on the grounds of poor customer service and bad faith rather than misconduct and fraud.

Complaining for what?

It all started last summer, when the Department of Insurance in Missouri received an uncommon turnout of complaints against the Chicago based insurer Universal Casualty. Accordingly, the insurance company failed to act on a timely manner against the claims and not to mention the slow outcome of their investigations. Allegedly, the company has continuously denied legitimate claims or offering ridiculous low settlement payments.

As part of the measure, the Department of Insurance pressed for explanations, but the company failed to air their side.

All insurance companies, throughout their operating lifetime, will get complaints here and there and, which normally directed to the agencies that oversee their operations. In the case of Universal Casualty, a 100-complaint index is just normal. Apparently, the first and second quarters of 2009 were seen as bad indicators for the said company. A total of 63 complaints was filed against them – which is well over three times the expected volume. Due to this disturbing report, the company was allowed to continue its operation except writing new policies.

Giving in to second chance

A rehabilitation process kicks in to save the company from possible closure. During the process, it was found out that the workload of the adjusters was the main reason for the company’s poor service. As soon as the problems were addressed, the company began to provide their services quickly and efficiently. As a result, the State of Missouri executed a $100,000 fine that the company obeyed to pay.

It is not just in Missouri

Surprisingly, other states (in Indiana and Illinois) where Universal Casualty is also operating suffered the same fate. Fines totaling to $400,000 were imposed based on poor customer satisfaction and below average business practices.

According to some analysts, in an attempt to curtail operating cost, Universal Casualty may have employed few qualified adjusters to investigate all the received claims thereby slowing down the entire process. On the other hand, granting that the work of an adjuster is difficult and unpopular among customers may have instigated the complaints because their expectations were not met when the adjuster fixed the amount of their claims.

All customers should know this, that when they feel that the rates set by the adjuster’s findings are impartial, they can solicit an appeal to the insurance company. For instance, if your vehicle suffered damages, and you think that the insurance company’s settlement is relatively low, prepare a report showing them the exact amount of the repairs or replacements that were made to your car, which is indeed higher that what they are offering.